Summary of the Programme Document
The Bio-resources Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development (BioInnovate) Programme is a regional initiative established in 2010 with support from Sida to support bioscience research and innovation activities in eastern Africa. It addresses regional priorities in science, technology and innovation aligned with the AU-NEPAD’s Science Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA), the science agenda for Africa (S3A) and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The Programme envisions a region with an ecosystem that supports bio-innovation as a driver for sustainable growth.
The absence of proper technology and business incubation mechanisms, as well as enabling policy that would move bioscience innovations along the innovation chain and to the marketplace, has been a big hindrance in integrating bioresources into key sectors like agriculture, environment, and industry in eastern Africa. Conscious of the limited capability of the research organisations and academia in the region to move research output from the experimental set up to the marketplace, BioInnovate has applied an innovation systems approach to catalyse the translation of research outputs to innovations in a sustainable manner for impact.
The Programme is among the few that support a designed multidisciplinary bioscience innovation funding mechanism anchored on the establishment of innovation platforms that assemble critical players along the bio-innovation value chain, to apply and promote bioscience innovations. BioInnovate supports projects in the six eastern African countries of Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. BioInnovate is the only initiative in the region that applies an integrated approach linking value addition and agroprocessing with primary agricultural production and environmental stewardship, as well as innovation policy and sustainability analysis. BioInnovate links public research organisations and universities with smallholder farmers and the private sector. This linkage improves the chances of eastern African smallholder farmers, agribusinesses and agro-processors benefitting from the rapidly developing field of bioscience. In this manner, BioInnovate contributes towards the development of a bioeconomy in the region; specifically, renewable biological resources are converted into value added products leading to sustainable economic, social and environmental development, thus contributing to
poverty alleviation and inclusive growth.